The Language Project Returns

Regular readers of the Optima news pages will know that the Grove Language Project 2009 was extremely successful and led, not only to Optima winning the Newark  Business Award for Commitment to the Community, but also contributed to a significant increase in the number of pupils taking GCSE German.

Sally Fagan with Tony Roberts

The Mayor of Newark, Mr Tony Roberts, with Sally Fagan of the Business Language Champions

This year is set to be even bigger and better! The Mayor of Newark, Mr Tony Roberts, launched the Language Project 2010 on Friday September 24th. He stressed the importance of learning languages – particularly as Newark plays such an active role in its twinning relationships with Germany, France and Poland. Sally Fagan, Business Language Champions Project Manager East Midlands, got pupils thinking about the 2012 Olympics where 70,000 volunteers are now needed for anything from help with car parking to media work. Just think how many of them will need language skills!

Carly Williams teaches languages at the Grove School and has been a keen supporter of the Language Project as she is working hard to increase the uptake of foreign languages. She attributes much of the recent interest in languages to the buzz and excitement caused by the success of last year’s project. The number of students enrolled for GCSE level German rose from 7 students in 2009 to 27 in 2010. The Grove Language Project could not happen without Carly’s enthusiastic support, as she has developed a creative scheme of work that makes it possible by making the project part of the curriculum.

The project is now officially launched and the teams are working hard to develop their presentations to persuade their chosen target market that learning a language is important. They haven’t got much time! The judging event takes place on Thursday November 4th at Newark Beacon.

The judges are:

  • Tony Roberts – The Mayor of Newark
  • Sally Fagan – Business Language Champions Project Manager East Midlands
  • Sally Gilbourn –  Economic Regeneration Officer, Newark and Sherwood District Council
  • James Fountain – Chairman of the Newark Business Club
  • Clodagh Cooney – Regional Manager Links into Languages East Midlands, Nottingham Trent University.

The winning team will have their poster printed and will deliver their presentation to the Newark Business Club.